15 Surprisingly Simple Woodworking Projects for Beginners

Woodworking doesn’t have to be daunting! Most of these fun, novice-friendly projects use scrap lumber and require just basic tools and some simple instructions. Tackle one of these beginner woodworking projects, and we guarantee you'll be itching to take on another.

By Caitlin Castelaz | Published Aug 20, 2018 06:43 PM

Make the Cut

DIY Cutting Board

With a tablesaw, sandpaper, and untreated hardwood, you can craft a cutting board to help you prepare or showcase your culinary creations. To make this project food-safe, be sure your mineral oil is food grade. Full tutorial for these available here, or try taking it up a notch and cut each a chimney using this how-to.

Related: 10 Kitchen Favorites That Last a Lifetime


Repurpose a Few Pickets

DIY Wood Picture Frame

Working with reclaimed wood is a savvy use of resources, and the material's country appeal is undeniable. With just a saw and a small drill, you can reuse old fencing to make these simple woodworking projects: picket-inspired picture frames. Finish them off by hot-gluing clothespins or bulldog clips to hang your prints. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Related: 16 Insanely Clever Ways to Reuse Household Junk


Craft with Crates

DIY Crate Coffee Table

An excellent introduction to woodworking is to use crates as your main material. The boxes are already formed, which means less assembly work for you—yet it looks impressive once your project is altogether. With this crate coffee table, you still get to practice your skills adding the casters and the center box. Finish with a little stain, and this table is ready to roll. You can find the full tutorial at DIY Vintage Chic

Related: 10 Coffee Tables for Under $100


Point the Way

DIY Wood Arrows

This fantastic set of arrows make simple wood projects that require little more than some craft wood, a miter saw, and a right angle. Stain the pieces, or paint them to match your decor. Get pointed in the right direction with this tutorial.

Related: 8 Tiny Projects to Try in 2018


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Easy DIY Dog Bed

Make your foray into furniture building by creating a new spot for the family pet. This project calls for furring strips and pine board, and the wood is fastened together using a joining jig, wood glue, and a nail gun to simplify the process. Find the full how-to with measurements here.

Related: 10 House Hacks Every Pet Owner Needs to Know


Wipe Your Feet on a Wooden Doormat

DIY Wood Doormat

A wooden doormat makes a warm welcome, plus it offers the perfect spot for scraping mud and dirt off boots and shoes. While the bloggers at The Merry Thought used their chop saw and nail gun, this one is an easy beginner DIY project, and can completed with old-school hammer and nails, miter box, and some wood glue.

Related: The Best 10 Doormats Under $50


Build a Nest

Easy Birdhouse Plans

A birdhouse adds charm to your yard and is a great project for beginning woodworkers. You’ll need a saw, drill, pine board, plywood, PVC pipe, and a dowel rod. This little home is easy to nail together, making it a fantastic family-friendly project. Here’s a tutorial.

Related: Top 10 Classic DIY Projects for the Outdoors


Find Time to Regroup (Bottles, That Is)

DIY Beer Caddy

This wooden rack brings rustic charm to the drinks table. After cutting your pieces to size, assemble with a little wood glue and a nail gun, and finish with a stain or oil. Impressed by the bottle opener mounted on the side? It just takes a screw or two. A full tutorial is available here.

Related: Why Go Out? 12 Bars You Can Build at Home


Step It Up

DIY Step Ladder

This step stool requires a bit more measuring and construction time but is still easy to cut and put together, requiring only nails and wood glue to hold it. Amp up your project with a good stain or a little paint. Get your measurements here.

Related: 14 Easy DIY Living Room Updates Anyone Can Do in a Day


Feed Fido

Wooden Dog Bowl Stand Plans

A DIY feeding station for your favorite canine can be put together in an hour, with a pine plank and pre-fabricated furniture legs. Customize it for your space and style with paint and your own special touches. Visit East Coast Creative for the full tutorial .

Related: Bob Vila's Best DIY Projects for Beginners


Have a Bright Idea

DIY Wood Lamp Base

A simple lamp kit, purchased at your local hardware big box, can turn any log or piece of reclaimed wood into a lamp, custom designed for your decor. This beauty was dipped in paint and sealed before being drilled for the hardware and topped with a shade.

Related: 16 Brilliant Lighting Ideas You Can DIY on a Dime


Craft a Convenient Side Table

DIY Sofa Arm Table

A sofa sleeve will keep your cup of coffee close while you cozy up on your couch, as well as protect your upholstery at the same time. This project’s simple construction creates a clean, sleek look that will compliment a contemporary style. A Beautiful Mess shows how it's done here.

Related: 18 Sneaky Ways to DIY Top-Dollar Decor


Fake Old Age

How To Make A Vintage Wooden Crate

Love the look of vintage crates, but having trouble finding ones that fit your needs and budget? Then, make your own! There’s nothing intimidating about these beginner woodworking projects. So, grab some salvaged wood and follow this tutorial.

Related: 21 Clever Little Things to Do with Scrap Wood


Exhibit Art

DIY Wood Frame

Buying frames for artwork can really add up. Making your own frame from $5 pine board is a great, inexpensive alternative. This wooden frame comes together with wood glue and convenient wood joiners, and its tutorial includes instructions for DIYers with or without a miter saw.

Related: 10 Inventive Ways to Display Family Photos


Reshape a Pile of Pallets

DIY Patio Table

Pallets are a great resource for the beginning woodworker. The versatile shipping staple can be mounted and modified in countless ways to create many easy woodworking projects with an rustic flair. The expansive wheeled coffee table shown here is just one smart option. 

Related: 15 Doable Designs for a DIY Patio Table


Working With Wood

Working With Wood

Start simple and small, for success with your first woodworking projects.


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